Facebook Ban Case Lawyer Daily Spends 14 Hours on Facebook

The lawyer who has twice moved the Lahore High Court to ban Facebook in Pakistan has 1,575 friends and spends an average of 14 hours a day on the social networking website, Facebook.

According to Express Tribune, Advocate Muhammad Azhar Siddique, on whose petition access to the website was banned in the country for two weeks last year, stays logged into Facebook from 8am to 10pm every day.

Asked whether he considered it hypocritical to spend so much time on Facebook when he was trying to get it banned, Siddique said that he checked the site “to make it mend its ways”.

He said much of his time was spent looking at messages from people informing him of any blasphemous material on the site.

He also uses the website to share how his cases are going with his Facebook friends, including his petitions to ban the website. Siddique has posted 323 pictures on his profile, including of family, friends and news clippings of his cases published in the local press.

Siddique first moved the LHC against the website last year because of a Facebook page called ‘Draw Muhammad (pbuh) Day’ in which blasphemous caricatures were put on display. Acting on his plea, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority banned Facebook from March 19 to March 31.

After that, Siddique launched the social networking website Millatfacebook, which billed itself as a social networking website for the world’s more than 1.5 billion Muslims and as a rival to Facebook.

He also lodged a complaint against Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, the owners of the website, and a woman named Andy, the alleged founder of the offending Facebook page, at Lahore’s Civil Lines Police Station under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code. The police sealed the FIR after registering it.

Siddique filed another petition against Facebook earlier this month again seeking a ban on the website for again hosting a page of drawings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh). The LHC chief justice, hearing the petition, last Thursday told the federal government to think about blocking Facebook for “holding a competition of sacrilegious caricatures”. Another petition by Siddique seeking implementation of these orders is pending before the LHC.